Valiant Design Diary #5

Valiant Design Diary #5

Hey party members!

As our Tales of the Valiant Kickstarter rolls along, we’ve heard many people ask for clarification about our vision for 5E compatibility.

What does it mean to say Tales of the Valiant is compatible with 5E?

Our number one compatibility goal is to make sure you can still use content in any of your 5E books in a Tales of the Valiant game.

This means that any piece of Tales of the Valiant content can be used alongside any piece of 5E content. Players who want to mix and match elements from both systems can do so with minimal or no effort. It doesn’t mean everything in ToV is suitable as a one-for-one replacement in 5E.

Here are the key points about what compatibility means to us:

If you know how to play 5E, you know how to play ToV.

This is critical to the concept of compatibility! We are keeping core mechanics intact so you don’t need to relearn how dice rolls work, characters work, and adventures work.

When we introduce a new or significant core mechanic change, we strive to make it interchangeable with a 5E option. For example, you can choose to use 5E inspiration OR ToV luck. You can choose to use 5E feats OR ToV talents. You can swap out these one-for-one systems depending on your table’s preference, with no significant effect on the rest of the game.

You can run any 5E module or adventure using ToV.

If you have the Tales of the Valiant Player’s Guide and Monster Vault, you can run any published 5E adventure without conversion.

Note: We do recommend replacing 5E versions of monsters with the same ToV versions of monsters for best difficulty match—but this is not strictly necessary. Modern 5E characters (which often use options found beyond the core rules of 5E) have the same power level as ToV characters. Well-written 5E adventures pose the same challenge for 5E or ToV characters.

A 5E character can play at the same table as a ToV character.

If you have a player who loves how their 5E fighter works—they don’t need to change anything! They can use the 5E rules to create, play, and level up their character, even if the rest of the table uses ToV character classes and rules.

Note: At this time, it is not possible for some classes to pair a ToV base class and a 5E subclass or a 5E base class and a ToV subclass as written. Mixing and matching class options in this way requires a little conversion work.

Conversion and Compatibility

We’ve mentioned the word, “conversion,” so let’s talk about how we’re thinking about it and what that means for ToV compatibility.

Note: While we will provide guidance to convert 5E material to ToV, conversion is not required to use your 5E content in ToV games. In our vision of compatibility, you do not need to convert anything to keep your 5E content relevant. We are doing a lot of work to ensure any table can use a mix and match system of 5E and ToV rules without converting a single thing.

What is Conversion?

Conversion for ToV is taking any existing 5E option and changing it to work the same way as its ToV counterpart. Converting anything between game systems always takes some work—that can’t be helped. But our goal is to make that work easy.

Many of you have expressed concern about how 5E content can be converted to Tales of the Valiant. We want you to know we are listening. We are listening and thinking about it all the time.

We’re doing a lot in core rules design now to ensure that work will be easy in the final product. However, we need to finish the core rules before we provide conversion guidance. In hopes of dispelling some fears, here is our process for conversion guidance:

1. Finish core ToV design. Scrutinize any deviation from 5E. Playtest deviations to determine whether they are worth keeping. Discard the ones that aren’t.

2. Include specific examples to show how we think about conversion as part of core rules design. You can see examples of this in our inclusion of 5E subclasses converted to ToV, such as the Cantrip Adept wizard subclass and the Life Domain cleric subclass. You can also see a preview of this concept in the spell circle conversion guidance.

3. Include basic conversion guidance in the core books. That is on the to-do list for the core books.

4. Dedicate resources to creating specific conversion guides once ToV core rules are finished. If you don’t want to continue using 5E content as is, there will be a path to make it all ToV.

That’s the Highlights!

As development continues, expect more updates about how ToV mechanics complement and support 5E mechanics. We’re excited to show you what’s next.

Until then, happy rolling!

The Preview Is Up!

As part of the kickstarter, we shared a free 64-page preview of the Tales of the Valiant game, showing off sample pages from the Player’s Guide and the Monster Vault! If you haven’t checked it out already, go download it.

Note: Changes you see in the preview packet are not guaranteed to be the final versions that appear in the game. Playtesting, development, and refining will continue until the books go to final editing.

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